August 20th, 2006

Bruce, Caroline

More on the Shower Scene

I just now got out of the shower, and am once again perched on the side of
my bed at the hotel here in Minnesota. I don't know what it is about the
shower system and its amenities that gives me such cause to write home about
it, but it does and I am, so there.

One thing that has always driven me nuts about the showers here is the level
of the shower head. I like showers that rain down from above. The shower
here, though, is set at upper-chest-level. This would've been perfect for my
ex-fiancée, a woman who, presumably, had her good points, but a tall figure
was not one of them. Not that there's anything wrong with short - some of my
best friends are short. But my point, inasmuch as I have one at all, is that
Tammy would have easily fit beneath the shower tap. But, thankfully, I'm not
Tammy, and, regrettably, I do not fit beneath the shower head. Oh woe
is me.

I'm also not a particularly big fan of these one-knob-controls-the-water
shower mechanisms. Call me old-fashioned, but where I come from, you had two
shower knobs: one which, if turned too far, froze your gashtorkers off, and
the other which, if turned too far, scalded them. You'll forgive my use of
technical anatomical jargon here. But with the one-knob approach, you never
quite know where you stand: if someone in the next hotel room were to, say,
flush the toilet, just how far to the right do you need to turn the blighted
knob to keep from getting scorched by a flow of hot water, and how fast will
it kick in? Oh the traumas of life's most pressing decisions. Sponge bath,
where is thy sting? And why was it that, when I was in the hospital, the
nurses offering to give me sponge baths and massages were never the pretty
ones? Now, the nurses in the hospital were a fascinating bunch. I was
fourteen, and in the hospital after having my burst appendix judiciously
removed. So I'm lying in my bed, waiting for my morning breakfast of slop,
and from the next room I hear this nurse yelling at, and coming very close
to cussing out, the poor old lady ensconced there. The above-mentioned nurse
comes storming and banging into my room. "She says I'm mad at her," says the
nurse, early in a huff." I'm not mad at her!" "Oh, no, no, of course not," I
say cheerily, as Nurse Frightenstein bangs my tray on the table and leaves
me to my Cream of Wheat ... Or was it bacon and eggs? Tough to tell the
difference. Sawdust in a Skillet? That Which Oscar the Grouch Rejected? It
was something along those lines, anyway.

Now, getting back to the subject of short people (those of you still reading
at this point may recall my referring to them earlier in this
autobiography), I once had a friend who worked in the same building as I
did, back when I had my summer job in the early nineties. I can't remember
her name, but she was a nice young lady, just extremely short ... Maybe
three feet six or something (I'm not exaggerating, it was probably why she
had to use Handi-Transit to get to work). She was in the same Handi-Transit
vehicle as I on our way to work. All I really remember about her was the
smell of her shampoo and her voice. We used to trade insults constantly, and
we got along great. So one day, we arrived at our building of work early,
and I suggested I take her to Tim Horton's, across the street, and buy her a
donut. Now, the street we had to cross was Portage Avenue, a major
thoroughfare in Winnipeg. She was so short that holding onto her elbow was
just out of the question for me. So what wound up happening was that she led
me, with me holding onto her head. This was further inconvenienced by the
fact that whenever I touched her, I'd wind up tickling her neck. I'm sure we
made quite a spectacle as we crossed, got our donuts, crossed back, and went
our separate ways, the smell of her shampoo now on my hand.

The point of all this? None that I can see. I just like telling stories. Ask
anyone who knows me. Ask the kids who have been entertained by my telling of
The Three Little Pigs, a must-hear for all new members of the family.
4:53 already? Holy Baflurgans. Goodnight everyone.
  • Current Music
    Short People by Randy Newman
Bruce, Caroline


The hotel I'm at is attached to The
Shooting Star Casino
in Minnesota. I'm not a gambler, maybe a coin here
or there, whatever, but we get these trips cheap as bus tours. So my
roommate and I take them from time to time. No wireless (or any other, as
far as I know) Internet here, so I'm storing these posts in my outbox until
I get home on Sunday evening for posting at that time.

The first time we came here, back in 1993 if you can believe it, the shampoo
was in these little packets that looked like the ketchup containers you get
at McDonald's. So fine, I took my shower, shampooed with this stuff, and all
was well with the world.

Fast forward ahead to Labor Day of that same year. We're back here again,
and I'm about to step into the shower. I look through the little basket of
stuff on the vanity, and find a packet that looks the same as my shampoo
packet from back in May. Great. I've got my shampoo, the water is warm, and
I'm in it.

I open the packet and douse my hair with it. Funny, this stuff isn't
lathering. Is it just really hard water? I try again, still no lathering.
Flipper-Farts, this is annoying. Well, I scrub this tenth-rate shampoo out
of my hair, climb out of the shower, and it's only when I show the empty
packet to my roommate sometime later that I discover that they are now
putting the shampoo into little shampoo bottles, and I have just tried
shampooing my hair with hand cream. Well, I now had the softest hair in the
country. And a lesson had been learned. I'm not quite sure just what that
lesson was, but I learned it.

The moral of the story? Um ... Uh, well, let's see now. Moral. Moral. I
guess there isn't one.
  • Current Music
    old shampoo commercial from the early eighties